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Citation Style for MSE

One of the citation styles used in the BSU Micron School of Materials Science is the American Ceramics Society's (ACerS) citation style, also called the Vancouver Style.  This guide summarizes the basics of the style and offers additional sources for more detail.

Print or Download a text version of this guide at Vancouver Citation Style 2023Sept


The guide was first compiled by Beth Brin, Albertsons Library, BSU (August 2019); last updated by Tracy Bicknell-Holmes, Albertsons Library, BSU, Oct 2023

Vancouver Citation Style

All citation and referencing styles have 2 basic features:

  1. A List of citations for all sources used (called a reference list, bibliography, source list), usually located at the end of the paper
  2. A note or number within in the text that links to the related source in the resource list(called an in-text citation)

Anything you borrow from another source (quotation, paraphrase, image, chart, etc.) must include an in-text citation that points to the source used in reference list at the end of the paper


The American Ceramic Society (ACerS) / Vancouver Style includes the following overall features. For examples of how to cite specific types of resources, see the additional tabs:


In-Text Citations

  • Use a superscript number attached to the appropriate word that ends the quote, paraphrase, image caption, etc.
  • Numbered sequential order
    • First numbering all the citations within the text
    • Then numbering citations for figures, tables, and images
  • If a source is used more than once, re-use the original citation number (that way the source will only be listed once in the reference list
  • If a sentence or paragraph was pulled from multiple sources, list each number in the superscript using a comma to separate 2 sources (example 25, 26) or a dash (-) for 3 or more sources (example 4-6)


List of References (end of the Paper)

  • Each source is listed
    • Only once in the Reference List
    • In numerical order based on where the first in-text citation appears in the paper
  • References to a personal communication (email, conversation, etc) should be placed in the correct numerical sequence within the References
  • Author Name Formatting
    • Author names are formatted the same way for all types of citations - journal articles, books, papers, etc.
    • Each author is listed by last name followed by a space then first name initial
    • The last author's name is followed by a period
      • Example: Green AB.
    • For 2 to 6 authors: list all authors separated by a comma
      • Example 2-6 authors: Green AB, Yashida C.
    • More than 6 authors: list the first 6 authors followed by "et al." (Latin meaning "and others")
      • Example more than 6 authors: Green AB, Yashida C, Small BE, Jones Q, Han S, Simpson, H, et al.



Source: Mukkavilli, RS. Large‐scale synthesis of centrifugally spun tantalum oxynitride fiber electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction. J Am Ceram Soc (2023); 106(11): 6398-6412.


The Introductory paragraph of Mukkavilli's paper shows examples of in-text citations to 1, 2, and 3 or more sources


Introductory paragraph showing in-text citation superscript examples


In the Reference List at the end of the paper we see the sources that correspond to the in-text superscript numbers


Reference list with sources that correspond to the in-text superscript

Citing Journal Articles

  • Article Titles: Capitalize the first word only, place a period at the end
    • Examples
      • The role of hydrogen in low carbon energy futures.
      • Earth-abundant electrocatalysts in proton exchange membrane electrolyzers.
  • Journal Names are abbreviated and in Italics, period at the end
  • Year of publication followed by semicolon (;)
  • Journal volume followed by the issue number in parenthesis () then colon (:)
  • Page numbers from the first to last followed by a period (.)
    • Examples
      • 2021; 11(4): 429.
      • 2022; 41(10): 3251-67.
      • 2019; 44(13): 6371-82.
  • Journal articles only available electronically include a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) (sort of like a persistent URL link)
  • End each citation with a period


Journal Citation Example

Chapman A, Itaoka K, Hirose K, Davidson FT, Nagasawa K, Lloyd AC, et al. A review of four case studies assessing the potential for hydrogen penetration of the future energy system. Int J Hydrogen Energy. 2019; 44(13): 6371–82.


ACerS style journal article citation with each part labeled

Citing Books and Book Chapters

  • Book Titles
    • Capitalize the first word, the last word and all major words in between. End the title with a period
    • Examples
      • Foundations of Materials Science and Engineering.
      • The New Science of Strong Materials.
  • Chapters in an Edited Book:
    • Capitalize the 1st word only of the Chapter/Section title. end the chapter title with a period
      • The fundamentals of rechargeable batteries
    • Use "In:" to signify the book in which the chapter appears
    • Follow "In:" with the editors' names, then ", editors."
      • In: Carter C, Peel J, editors.
  • List publisher, place, date information and page numbers as: Publisher's location: Publisher Name; year of publication; page number range.
    • Examples
      • Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press; 1984.
      • London: Academic Press; 1976; 369-380.


Book Citation Example

Skundin AM, Kulova T, Rudy A, Mironenko A. All Solid State Thin-Film Lithium-Ion Batteries : Materials, Technology, and Diagnostics. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2021.


ACerS book citation example with parts labeled


Book Chapter Example

Liu Z, Zou L. Vanadium flow batteries: principles, characteristics, structure, evaluation. In Zhang H, Li X, Zhang J, editors. Redox Flow Batteries: Fundamentals and Applications. Boca Raton, FL : CRC Press; 2017; 77-126.


Vancouver Book Chapter Citation with parts labeled


Citing Conference Papers and Proceedings

Conference Papers and Proceedings are cited like book chapters and books, with some modifications. It makes a difference if the Paper presented was published in a set of proceedings or just presented without being published. If you were to cite an entire set of proceedings, cite it as you would a book.


Published Conference Papers (similar to Book Chapters)

  • Paper or Presentation Title
    • Capitalize the 1st word only of the Paper title. End the paper title with a period
  • Use "In:" signify that the paper was published as part of a set of proceedings
  • Follow "In:" with the editors' names, then ", editors."
    • Example
      • In: Carter C, Peel J, editors.
  • Proceedings or Conference Title
    • Capitalize the first word, the last word and all major words in between. End the conference title with a period
    • Examples
      • Synchrotron Radiation in Materials Research : Symposium Held November 28-30, 1988, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
      • From Nanopowders to Functional Materials: Proceedings of Symposium G, European Materials Research Society Fall Meeting.
  • List publisher, place, date information and page numbers as: Publisher's location: Publisher Name; year of publication; page number range.



Poulsen FW, Buitink P, Malmgren-Hansen B. Van der Pauw and conventional 2-point conductivity measurements on YSZ-plates. In Grosz F, Zegers P, Singhal SC, Yamamoto O, editors. Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. Pennington, NJ: The Electrochemical Society; 1991: 755-767.


ACerS Published Conference paper example with parts labeled


Papers Presented but not Published

  • Paper or Presentation Title
    • Capitalize the 1st word only of the Paper title. End the paper title with a period
  • Follow the paper title with "Paper presented at the" followed by the Conference or Proceedings name; date of presentation; location of Conference
    • Example
      • Paper presented at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the American Ceramic Society; April 30, 1991; Cincinnati, OH.


Gu WH, Faber KT. Crack propagation in SiC-TiB2 composites. Paper presented at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the American Ceramic Society; April 30, 1991; Cincinnati, OH.


ACers Unpublished Conference paper citation with parts labeled

Citing Databases or other data sources

When citing information like this, the citation will include information on the specific record being cited (phase diagram, table, etc.) and the database in which the information was found.

  • Title of the Record
    • Capitalize only the first letter of the title, followed by a comma.
  • Unique Database Identifier (ID)
    • Unique ID [datasheet] followed by a period
    • Each database will call the unique ID something different. Use whatever it is called in the database
    • If there is no unique ID, follow the title with [datasheet] and a period
  • Date of the record (sometimes last updated) if available, followed by a period
  • "In:" to note where the information was found
  • Editor's names followed by ", editors" (if available)
  • Database title
    • Capitalize the first word, last word and every significant word in between, followed by [database online] then end with a period
  • Location of the database Publisher: Publisher's name [cited Year Mon Day]; [approximately x number of pages/screens].
  • Available from: DOI or shortened URL


NOTE: There are 2 dates in database citations: 1) the record date, which may also be a "last updated" date; and 2) the date you last accessed the record or cited it.



Phase Equilibria Diagrams Database

Decterov SA, Jung IH, Pelton AD. MgO-Fe2O3-SiO2-O2, Figure 1187 [datasheet]. 2002. In: Phase Equilibria Diagrams Database (NIST Standard Reference Database 31) [database online]. Westerville, OH: The American Ceramic Society and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce; c2023 [cited 2023 Sept 26]; [2 p.]. Available from:


ASM Alloy Phase Diagram Database

Zhang Y, Liang JK, Li JB, Liu QL, Xiao YG, Zhang Q, et al. Silver-gallium binary phase diagram, Unique ID 103003 [datasheet]. 2007. In: Villars P, editor. ASM Alloy Phase Diagram Center [database online]. Materials Park, OH: ASM International; c2006-2018. [cited 2023 Oct 1]; [about 5 screens]. Available from:


Inorganic Crystal Structure Database (ICSD)

Matsumoto T, Tokonami M, Morimoto N. The crystal structure of omphacite, Collection Code 4372 [datasheet]. 1975. In: Inorganic Crystal Structure Database ICSD [database online]. Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany: FIZ Karlsruhe; c2019. [cited 2023 Sept 22]; [10 sections]. Available from:


SpringerMaterials - Inorganic Solid Phases

Villars, P, editor. PAULING FILE. Ag-Ga binary diagram 0-100 at.% Ga, Dataset ID c_0103002 [datasheet]. In: Villars, P, editor. Inorganic Solid Phases, SpringerMaterials [database online]. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature Switzerland AG; 2022 [cited 2023 Sept 19]; [about 1 p.]. Available from:


SpringerMaterials - MSI Eureka

Rogl P, updated by Kubaschewski O, Hayes FH, Guerin R, Tedenac JC, Rogle P, and MSIT. Ag-Ga phase diagram: Figure 1 from Ag-As-Ga ternary phase diagram evaluation, Dataset ID sm_msi_r_10_017271_01_ful_LnkDia0 [datasheet]. 1994. In: Effenberg G, editor. MSI Eureka, SpringerMaterials [database online]. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature Switzerland AG; [no date]. [cited 2023 Sept 19]; [about 1 p.]. Available from:


SpringerMaterials - Landolt-Bornstein

Note: Landolt-Bornstein was originally published as a book series, so these materials are cited a little differently.

Predel, B. Ag-Ga (silver-gallium). 2006. In: Predel B, editor. Landolt-Bornstein - Group IV Physical Chemistry, Volume 12A, Ac-Ag... Au-Zr, SpringerMaterials [database online]. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature Switzerland AG; [no date]. [cited 2023 Sept 25]; [2 p.]. Available from:

Citing Industry Standards

  • Use the Organization responsible for the Standard as the Author, followed by a period.
  • Titles: capitalize the first word only, followed by a period
  • Year; Standard number.


Industry Standard Examples

ASTM International. Standard classification for fiber reinforced silicon carbide-silicon carbide (SiC-SiC) composite structures. 2023; ASTM C1835-16(2023).

International Organization for Standardization. Fine ceramics (advanced ceramics, advanced technical ceramics) - test method for tensile strength of monolithic ceramics at room temperature. 2023; ISO 23739:2023.

Citing Tables, Figures and Images

When these formats, start with the type of reference (journal article, book, website, etc.) where you found the citing tables, figures, or images. For example, if you found a table in a journal article, start with the format for citing a journal. Then:

  • Give the Number of the table/figure/image in the original source followed by a comma (,)
  • Title of table/figure/image in the original source followed by a semi colon (;)
  • then p. and the page number where you found the table/figure/image in the original source.


Table Example

Said, A. Behavior of concrete beams reinforced in shear with carbon fiber reinforced polymer. J Engr; 2011:17: 6303-6317. Table 1, Qualitative Comparison of Different Fibers Used in Composites; p. 6304.


Figure Example

Hong S. Wireless: From Marconi’s black‐box to the Audion. London (GB). MIT Press; 2001. Figure 1.5, Marconi's grounded antenna; p. 21.


Image Example

Lofroth, M, Avci, E. Development of a novel modular compliant gripper for manipulation of micro objects. Micromachines; 2019: 10(313): 1-22. https://10.3390/mi10050313. Figure 5, A sectional view showing the different layers involved in etching a silicon wafer; p. 9.

Citing Patents

  • Titles: capitalize the first letter only, follow the title with a period
  • Patent granting organization followed by the patent number, then period
  • Year.


Patent Examples

Jorcyk C, Warner D, King, MD, Warner, L. Pharmaceutical compositions comprising oncostatin m (OSM) antagonist derivatives and methods of use. U.S. Patent 11633457. 2020

Fujimoto, K, Estrada D, Subbaraman, H. Aqueous based nanoparticle ink. U.S. Patent 11591483. 2023

Citing Thesis and Dissertations

Thesis and Dissertations are cited much like books

  • Titles
    • Capitalize the first word, the last word and all significant words in between
    • Follow the title with [master's thesis] or [dissertation], then end with a period
  • Publisher's location; publisher's name: year of publication followed by a period
    • The Publisher is the institution where the Thesis or Dissertation was completed
    • If the location is not shown on the title page, enclose the location in [brackets]
  • If the document is online, follow the publication date with
    • [cited Year Mon Day] followed by a period.
    • Available from: DOI or shortened URL



Chang An. Graphene Foam as a 3D Biocompatible Scaffolding for Myotube Growth and Differentiation [master's thesis]. [Boise, ID]: Boise State University; 2016. [cited 2023 Sept 09]. Available from:


Liang X. A General Approach to Electrical Vehicle Battery Remanufacturing System Design [dissertation]. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan: 2018. [cited 2023 Sept 30]. Available from:

Citing Websites

  • If you can identify an author, use the same format as with other types of materials; If the author and publisher of the website are the same, begin the citation with the Title
  • Website Titles: Capitalize the first word only, followed by a space then [format description] then end with a period.
    • Example document types and descriptions:
      • PDF = [Document on the Internet]
      • Website = [Internet]
  • Publisher / Website followed by a semicolon (;)
  • Year should include a copyright for the website, information on when it was updated if available, and when it was cited in this format: cYear or cYear-Year [updated Year Mon Day; cited Year Mon Day] followed by a period
  • Available from: URL (shortened)


Website Examples:

Renew recycled polycarbonate sheets [Internet]. TAP Plastics; c2023 [cited 2023 Oct 1], Available from:

How to Bend Plastic [video file]. TAP Plastics; 2023 [cited 2023 Oct 3]. Available from:

Gallium Safety Data Sheet [Document on the Internet]. Fisher Scientific; 2009 [updated 2021 Dec 25; cited 2023 Oct 2]. Available from:

Citing Lectures

You can cite information you learned from a lecture. Lecture notes are considered personal communications. Include the following order and format when citing them:

  • Presenter is the Author, use the same format as for authors for other types of materials
  • Title of the course, followed by a space, then [lecture notes], then end with a period.
    • Example: MSE 380 [lecture notes].
  • Date of the lecture: Year Mon Day


Lecture Notes Example

Ackler H. MSE 380 [lecture notes]. 2023 Oct 3. 

Getting Help with ACerS citation style

If you need more detailed help figuring out the American Ceramics Society (ACerS) style, try these websites:


And of course you can consult with your Librarian!  You can find my contact information on the first page of this guide, in the left navigation bar under the menu


The guide was compiled by Beth Brin, Albertsons Library, BSU (August 2019); last updated by Tracy Bicknell-Holmes, Albertsons Library, BSU, Oct 2023

When do I cite Sources?

Whenever you take information from a source, whether that source is published on paper, presented in a lecture or broadcast, or made available online, you must tell your reader where the information came from - you must cite your source.

The Academic Integrity at MIT site has good guidance on when you need to cite your sources. You might want to take a look at these pages: